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WHO formally names virus

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    12 February 2020

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday (11 February) gave the current strain of coronavirus sparking concerns worldwide the formal name of COVID-19.

As advised in the WHO Director-General's remarks at the media briefing on 2019-nCoV, the name does not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and is pronounceable and related to the disease. It also gives a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.

As of 6am Geneva time yesterday morning, there were 42,708 confirmed cases reported in China, and 1017 people in the country have lost their lives to this virus. Most are in Hubei province, Wuhan. Outside China, there were 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death.

A UN Crisis Management Team has been activated to help WHO focus on the health response while the other agencies can bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak so we are all working to our strengths.

For information about measures taken at ports worldwide to counter the spread of COVID-19, contact the respective GAC office. Contact details may be found in the ‘GAC WORLDWIDE’ section of www.gac.com